* ArchivePanic: 53 albums in 35 years plus all the ones released posthumously (new releases continue to this day). Not to mention one of the most obsessive bootleg collection communities in all of fandom. Hundreds upon hundreds of high-lineage concert bootlegs zapping across the ether in lossless audio format as we speak. Not to mention the occasional rehearsal, alternate take, or unreleased studio album (!) that floats by. Good luck.
** In fact, it inspired the cover of the posthumous 1996 release ''The Lost Episodes''.
* BrokenBase: Generally Zappa's 1960s and 1970s output is held in high regard by most fans. His later output is more polarizing. Some fans consider it [[TimeMarchesOn politically dated]] (with explicit references to the Reagan era); others complain that although it's musically more slick, it's instrumentally less varied (the usual complaint being along the lines that the rock songs don't sound as colorful as in the 1970s); or else the fans just consider the later stuff obnoxious and irritating. Two of his most hated records are both from this time period: ''Music/TheManFromUtopia'' (1982) and ''Music/ThingFish'' (1985), yet [[ActuallyPrettyFunny even these have their fans]]. His classical compositions from this era get a bit more praise, though some feel he shouldn't have used the Synclavier as much. Zappa, who hated conformity, seems to have thrived on Base Breaking.
* BigNameFan: Music/JohnLennon, Music/PaulMcCartney, Music/DavidBowie, Creator/SalmanRushdie, Creator/MattGroening, Czech president Vaclav Havél, Music/HenryRollins, Music/AliceCooper, UsefulNotes/AlGore, Creator/GermaineGreer, Music/TheMarsVolta, Music/RedHotChiliPeppers, Music/GeorgeClinton, [[Creator/KlaskyCsupo Gabor Csupo]], Music/SystemOfADown, Music/DreamTheater's Mike Portnoy...
* CrazyAwesome: Nothing more needs to be said about the man.
* CreatorWorship: Saying anything bad, ever, about Zappa is liable to trigger his fans' BerserkButton. Scroll down for evidence.
* CrossesTheLineTwice: Had enough vulgar and politically incorrect songs to warrant a compilation album, ''Have I Offended Someone?''.
* CultClassic: One of the great cult figures in American music. He never attained the same level of mainstream success as some of his rockstar contemporaries, but his fanbase is huge and incredibly devoted to this very day, and his influence on rock and experimental music can't be overstated.
* [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff Czechs Love Frank Zappa]]: Besides the fact that he was very influential in the country's underground scene and regarded as a symbol of anti-authoritarianism, Czechoslovakia's first post-Communist president, Václav Havel, was a huge fan of Zappa and wanted to name him government consultant on trade, cultural matters and tourism. The Bush administration, probably still pissed about the PMRC thing, torpedoed the entire idea, and Havel made Zappa a cultural attaché instead.
** Havel was imprisoned due to listening to Zappa albums - this is where the huge Czech love comes from. Also, the Bush administration flat out said that they'd break off relationships if he were to be named so.
* EarWorm: As artistic/innovative/influential/etc. as his music is, it'd mean nothing if it weren't also so damn catchy (see: ''Music/HotRats'', "Eat That Question" (from ''Music/TheGrandWazoo''), "Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance" (from ''Music/WereOnlyInItForTheMoney'') etc.).
* EpicFail: One of his albums, ''Music/JazzFromHell'', almost got censored for having inappropriate lyrics, problem is the entire album was full with {{Instrumentals}}.
** Reportedly, the issue the [[MoralGuardians PMRC]] had with the album was the track title "G-Spot Tornado".
** Truthfully though, the record store that added the label did so only because they knew nothing whatsoever about the album.
* EpicRiff: Many, including:
** "Peaches en Regalia", "Willie the Pimp", and "Son of Mr. Green Genes" (from ''Music/HotRats'')
** "I'm the Slime" (from ''Music/OverNiteSensation'')
** "Ms. Pinky" (from ''Music/ZootAllures'')
** "Eat That Question", from ''Music/TheGrandWazoo'', which is almost entirely made of epic riffs. Also "Cleetus Awreetus-Awrightus" on the same album.
** "Tryin' to Grow a Chin", from ''Music/SheikYerbouti''
** The ''Music/ShutUpNPlayYerGuitar'' trilogy, a collection of Zappa's live guitar solos, and quite possibly the greatest guitar album ever made, along with the follow-up ''Music/{{Guitar}}''.
* FaceOfTheBand: Didn't even found the Mothers of Invention, but took over almost instantly.
* FirstInstallmentWins: His first and third albums, ''Music/FreakOut'' and ''Music/WereOnlyInItForTheMoney'', are the only ones on ''Magazine/RollingStone'''s ''500 Greatest Albums Of All Time'', despite being listed as one of the 100 greatest musicians by the same magazine.
* FunnyAneurysmMoment: Some of the songs on ''[[Music/WereOnlyInItForTheMoney We're Only In It For the Money]]'' are based on the ludicrousness of the idea of cops killing hippies. Two years after the album's release, the Kent State murders happened.
** On ''Music/JoesGarage,'' Frank Zappa did a decidedly tongue-in-cheek ProgressiveRock parody called "Why Does It Hurt When I Pee?", about the title character contracting "an unpronounceable disease," and then died of prostate cancer. However, the song's still really funny.
** One of the songs on ''Music/CivilizationPhazeIII'' is entitled "I Wish Music/{{Motorhead}} Would Come Back". After December 28, 2015, so does pretty much everyone else in the world. (The song is talking about a different Motorhead, but the point stands.)
** The song "Brown Shoes Don't Make It" is about a sleazy politician who fantasizes about having sex with thirteen year old girls and even his own daughter on the lawn of the White House. Um...
* GeniusBonus: The premise behind the story of ''Music/JoesGarage''.
* HarsherInHindsight:
** Bassist Roy Estrada messing around with the inflatable sex doll in ''Film/BabySnakes'' wasn't quite as funny after Estrada was [[http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/02/22/3754559/former-frank-zappa-bassist-imprisoned.html arrested and convicted for child molestation in 1994 and 2012]].
** Quite some lyrics or song titles in Zappa's oeuvre refer to STD's, which were a nuisance in the 1960s and 1970s, but back then all medically treatable. Since the arrival of AIDS in the 1980s, references as such don't sit so well with modern day listeners. Especially considering Lucy Offerall, one of the groupies in ''Film/TwoHundredMotels'', died from it in 1991.
** While it's a pretty safe bet that the 9/11 attacks weren't what Zappa had in mind, this line from the "Hydrogen" section of the chapter "All About Schmucks" in ''Literature/TheRealFrankZappaBook'' reads much differently today.
--> "Some people in the Imaginary Heartland of America might say,'''''Who gives a shit? They ain't going to get us. They ain't coming over here. Why, some of 'em don't even have air-o-planes'''''."
** "Trouble Every Day" was written about the rioting in Watts some decades ago, but it sounds like it could've been written within the past 3-5 years. Not one word of the song even needs to be changed to be relevant to today's political and racial climate after the killings of Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown and many others.
* HilariousInHindsight: In the former category, the line about hippies getting crabs in "Who Needs The Peace Corps?" became even funnier when Joe's Crab Shack released a psychedelic advertisement promoting [[AccidentalInnuendo "Peace, Love and Crabs"]].
** ''Music/YouAreWhatYouIs'' described a black man who learned how to play golf and got a good score, pretty much predicting Tiger Woods' claim to fame.
* MisaimedFandom
** Became popular with hippies, a subculture he hated.
*** It's worth noting, though, that while he (justifiably) dismissed the subculture as a trend that wouldn't last, as a lifelong libertarian he was sympathetic to a large number of their socio-political aims (though, to be clear, by no means all of them), and the attacks on ''Music/WereOnlyInItForTheMoney'' mostly ("Flower power sucks" in "Absolutely Free" is the most obvious exception) aren't on the hippie subculture as a whole but on people who were only participating in it for the sex, drugs, and/or (in the case of performers) money without caring about its social aims. By far his biggest problem with the subculture seemed to be that, while it was ostensibly aimed at attacking conformity, it had quickly evolved into yet another form of conformity due to how many people were participating in it. That said, this didn't stop him from relentlessly attacking the more ridiculous trends associated with the subculture, such as their fashion.
** {{Valley Girl}}s, even though his song "Valley Girl" from ''Music/ShipArrivingTooLateToSaveADrowningWitch'' was really a TakeThat from Moon Unit Zappa at the Valley Girls at her school.
* NotSoCrazyAnymore: An almost immediate example: When ''Music/WereOnlyInItForTheMoney'' came out a lot of people thought he was crazy because of all the references to cops shooting hippies. This was intended to be somewhat over-the-top, but it was a nod to contemporary police brutality and was intended to reflect what could happen if things got worse. Slightly under three years later, they did; the Kent State shootings happened. They were National Guardsmen rather than police, but other than that it occurred almost exactly as he predicted. The proximity of the events has also led to several cases of [[ArtisticLicenseHistory You Fail Rock History Forever]] as people have claimed that the songs on the album were ''inspired'' by the Kent State shootings.
* PanderingToTheBase: Zappa is an odd example of this trope. On one hand he simply did what he liked, telling the audience literally to get fucked if they hated what he did on stage or in his work. A huge chunk of his lyrics are inside jokes, incomprehensible to anyone but him and his band members. Yet on the other hand he did put in a lot of RunningGag material (conceptual continuity) that only his hardcore fans would recognize and cheer about.
** Another respect in which Zappa Pandered to the Base was in concerts, later in his career: he tended to spend more time (as he put it) "walking up and down on stage being a buffoon" and less time playing music. His excuse was that people weren't necessarily coming to his concerts to hear difficult music. However, it didn't stop him making difficult music and putting it out on his studio records, and the recorded evidence showed that he was still perfectly capable of playing punishingly abstract music to stadium audiences.
* TearJerker: Zappa was reportedly quite skeptical about making music that served as this trope, though he has made music that is moving beyond tears: "Watermelon in Easter Hay" (an instrumental from ''Music/JoesGarage''), "Mom and Dad", "The Idiot Bastard Son" (from ''Music/WereOnlyInItForTheMoney''), "Oh No" (''Music/WeaselsRippedMyFlesh'', though the ''Music/RoxyAndElsewhere'' version is equally moving), "Inca Roads" (''Music/OneSizeFitsAll''), "Black Napkins" (''Music/ZootAllures''), "Strictly Genteel" (''Film/TwoHundredMotels''),...
** In his autobiography ''Literature/TheRealFrankZappaBook'', he wrote that "Village of the Sun" from ''Music/RoxyAndElsewhere'' struck him as a sensitive lyric, adding, "There aren't too many of those in '''MY''' catalog."
** In the context of his life/career, most of his last album, ''Music/CivilizationPhazeIII'', is this, but nothing more so than the final track, "Waffenspiel" (German for "Gun Play"). Most of it consists of rain and gun sound effects and a barking dog. It has an eerie, tragic finality to it, as though nothing but silence will follow. Given that the album was released posthumously, it is heartbreaking in context. Zappa's widow Gail also revealed later that Frank said of his work on the album, "I've done everything that I can", which can add further to the tragedy of the album.
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot: Zappa's {{Concept Album}}s and {{Rock Opera}}s tended to be plotted much like a comedy routine in which stories and anecdotes tangentially flow from one into the next rather than having a completed story behind it. One example: ''Music/JoesGarage'', a story about a man arrested for performing rock music on the eve of music getting banned from society, spends a lot of time in the middle on wild sexual adventures. The album dedicates three songs to his ex-girlfriend, who becomes a mindless sex slave after performing sexual favours for another band for over a year. The final third of ''Joe's Garage'' requires the liner notes to make sense of what is actually happening, as the libretto gives way to lengthy guitar solos.
** ''Music/ThingFish'' goes from a grave piece of HighConcept to literally devolving into a massive orgy by album's end.
* TrueArtIsAngsty: Mostly [[AvertedTrope averted]]; he frequently derided this and stuck to comedy. However, played straight with some of his more fervent protest songs, like "Heavenly Bank Account." ''Music/CivilizationPhazeIII'' also has elements of this, as he composed it when he knew he had a terminal illness, and it reflects his impending death.
* TrueArtIsIncomprehensible: Frequent, especially on his sound collages.
* UnfortunateImplications: On songs like "Sy Borg," Zappa seemed to find the idea of homosexual sex [[http://themeekinherit.blogspot.com/2010/12/zappadan-10.html very funny]]. And there's plenty of examples of [[http://www.sfgate.com/books/article/Frank-Zappa-s-contradiction-brilliant-music-by-2661500.php women being objectified]] in his music, cf. the Wet T-shirt example listed above.
* ValuesResonance: On the other hand, many of his protest songs are more applicable now than they were when they were written ("Trouble Every Day" is a particularly good example).
* WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs: Frank made some of the most bizarre music ever recorded, but his only drugs of choice were caffeine and nicotine. All the more remarkable given he created 53 albums in the span of 20-25 years, on top of touring, managing his record company, and verbally bitch-slapping the PMRC. Oh, and raising four kids.[[note]]Although he didn't so much raise four kids himself, as earn enough enough money to enable his wife to raise them more or less single-handed, while he was doing other stuff. Zappa's workaholism was notorious; when Moon wanted to ask him if she could make a recording with him, the only way she knew to get his attention was to slip a note under the studio door. (Happy ending: the result was "Valley Girl".)[[/note]]
-->'''from the ''Film/BabySnakes'' film:''' What is that, a joint? No... get that dope fiend device away from me!
** As he points out, a lot of his stuff is so complex that you have to be sober to play it. For an example of what can happen, check out the Music/LondonSymphonyOrchestra's drunk version of "Strictly Genteel."
*** Once again - read ''Zappa the Hard Way''. As someone who has studied Frank for more than 40 years and has extensively interviewed numerous bandmembers, family members and acquaintances, it's quite amazing the amount of wrong information that gets put out there.
* YokoOhNo: A lot of fans disliked Zappa's widow, Gail, for her heavy-handed approach to handling Zappa's posthumous affairs.
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